These European Countries Make You Want to Work Abroad

Denmark and Norway offer 52 weeks of paid sick leave

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While moving abroad is rarely a decision made overnight, there are a few countries whose workplace benefits will have you packing your bags for the next flight smoking.

In Glassdoor’s latest report with Llewellyn Consulting, the jobs and recruiting site examined what European countries offer the most generous paid leave and unemployment benefits. Using the United States as a benchmark, the study analyzed 15 countries and looked at five social policies: maternity and paternity leave; general parental leave; paid holiday allowance; paid sick leave and unemployment benefits. When examining all of these policies together, countries like Ireland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom offer modest benefits compared to the overall workplace benefits of Denmark, France, and Spain.

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With months of paid sick leave and extended periods of parental leave, below are key findings from the report that will have you rethinking your own employee benefits package.

Parental Leave Policies:
– While the U.S. has no mandated maternity leave, all European Union countries are mandated to provide at least 14 weeks of leave to new mothers. The UK and Ireland offer the most generous maternity leave policies, with 52 weeks and 42 weeks, respectively. However in the UK, 39 of the 52 weeks are paid, and in Ireland, 26 of the 42 weeks are paid.

– In Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain new mothers receive 100% of previous earnings during their entire period of maternity leave.

– While there is no mandated paternity leave in Europe, Finland offers the most generous policy to new dads with 45 days off work.

– When it comes to general parental leave, EU legislation states that each parent has a right to take a minimum of four months off to care for a child up to eight years old. However, France and Germany offer way more generous policies by giving parents up to 156 weeks off.

Paid Annual and Holiday Leave Policies:
– While the U.S. government does not mandate an employer to honor a certain amount of annual or paid holiday leave, countries in the EU are required to give employees a minimum of four weeks per year off. However, for a standard Monday-Friday job, Sweden, France, and Denmark offer 25 days of annual leave alone, and Spain offers 14 paid holidays off.

Paid Sick Leave Policies:
– In the U.S., there is no requirement for how many sick days an employer must give an employee, but in the Netherlands workers who are ill can be absent for up to 104 weeks and receive 70% of their salary for the entire period. In Germany, workers can miss up to 78 weeks and receive 100% of their earnings for the first six weeks and after that they will receive 70% of their earnings. In Norway and Denmark, workers can receive 100% of their earnings for up to 52 weeks.

Unemployment Benefits:
– In Denmark, unemployed individuals earn 90% of previous earnings for up to 104 weeks. In Belgium, an unemployed person with no dependents can earn 65% of their prior earnings for the first 13 weeks.



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